iv THE CHURCH OF S, IRENE ' 91
On Good Friday the patriarch held a service for catechumens (jca-nfo^a-w) in S. Irene, which the patricians were required to attend.1
The church of S, Irene has never been used as a mosque. After its enclosure within the precincts of the Seraglio soon after the Turkish conquest, it was converted into an armoury, probably because it stood in the court occupied by the body of Janissaries who formed the palace guard, and it has served that military purpose, in contradiction to its name, for the most part ever since. For several years it contained the first collection of antiquities made by the Turkish Government, and some of the objects in that collection still remain to recall the use of the building as a museum ; the most interesting of them being the chain stretched across the mouth of the Golden Horn during the siege of 1453, the monument to the charioteer Porphyrios, and the pedestal of the silver statue of the Empress Eudocia, which played a fatal part in the relations of that empress to the great bishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom. Since the establishment of the constitutional regime in the Ottoman Empire the building has been turned into a Museum of Arms.
Until the recent establishment of constitutional government in Turkey it was impossible to obtain permission to study this church in a satisfactory manner, so jealously was even entrance into the building guarded. The nearest approach to anything like a proper examination of the building was when Salzenberg was allowed to visit the church in 1848, while the church of S. Sophia was undergoing repairs under the superintendence of the Italian architect Fossati. But the liberty accorded to Salzenberg was not complete, and, consequently, his plan of the church published
in C.P. 28 June 1894,* Vizanthky Vreinennlk^ i., St. Petersburg, 1894, parts iii.-iv. section Hi, pp. 769-798, and the article by the same author on the 'Interior and Exterior View of S. Irene" in the same periodical, 1895, parts i. ii. section i. pp. 177-183. For the references to these articles I am indebted to Mr. Norman E. Baynes, one of our younger Byzantine scholars. 1 Const. Porphyr. De Cer. p, 179.